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At Slocum Center in Eugene, Oregon, several of our orthopedic surgeons specialize in achilles tendinosis. Our ankle specialists have helped hundreds of patients each year regain strength and flexibility through their dedication and continuous research. 

Achilles tendinosis is relatively common in middle age. The Achilles develops a tender nodule about 2-3 inches over the back of the heel bone. The area of the mass becomes painful with walking. Many times, the pain resolves on its own, yet the mass remains. Other times, the pain increases until it becomes a disability.

Cause

Numerous causes for developing Achilles tendinosis exist.

  • Trauma caused by sudden acceleration/deceleration-type activities.
  • Increasing running mileage or speed of workouts too rapidly.
  • Running hills and stair climbing as a training routine.
  • Overuse resulting from a lack of natural flexibility of the calf muscles.

Treatment

The first line of treatment is ice and stretching. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication may also be offered. In severe cases, cast immobilization followed by a stretching and strengthening program is recommended. If nonoperative treatment fails, the tendon can be debrided, lengthened, reinforced with a tendon transfer or a combination of the above. Most of these procedures require a 4-6 month recovery.